Mark Webber announces retirement from racing

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Former-F1 driver Mark Webber will retire from professional racing at the end of the year, he confirmed in a joint statement with his current team Porsche on Thursday.

Since leaving Formula One at the end of 2013 with nine victories to his name, Webber has been racing in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche. With three races remaining in the current season, Webber has announced his retirement before becoming a "Porsche representative" next year.

"I have arrived where I belong," Webber said. "Porsche is the brand I always loved most and the one that suits me the best. The 911 is iconic -- it has got elegance, performance and understatement, and is never intrusive. It is just the right car for every scenario.

"I will miss the sheer speed, downforce and competition, but I want to leave on a high and I'm very much looking forward to my new tasks."

Webber won the WEC title in 2015 but missed out on victory at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans on five attempts over his entire career.

"Mark Webber stands for everything what Porsche implies: sportsmanship, power of endurance, straightforwardness and focused work for success," Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said. "He is full of beans and always a thoughtful listener. I want to thank Mark for his great performance in the World Endurance Championship and am pleased he will remain tightly connected to Porsche in the future."

Webber's career in Formula One spanned 12 seasons with four different teams, racking up 42 podiums and nine victories. He came closest to winning the title in 2010 but was ultimately beaten by Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel. He finished third in the standings three times before leaving for WEC at the end of 2013.